Your Will  


Pay your Nears & Dears - After you Part

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Making Your Will

As one becomes older there is need to facilitate the easy disbursement of one's possessions and properties to one's loved ones and dependents, so that there will be no legal battles among them. For this reason it is advisable that everyone with some property or wealth should prepare a "WILL "

A "Will" can be defined as "A legal statement written by an individual, stating the manner in whish his or her wealth may be distributed after his or her demise" A person making a Will is known as a "Testator" It is best that one consults an advocate before preparing a Will. It would be better if the advocate is a person in whom you have the utmost confidence.

Here are some guidelines to prepare a WILL:

* It is better to make a Will at a younger age. As and when events or changes in the family or circumstance necessitate changes, the Will can be altered. One of the advantages of making a Will at an earlier age is that unscrupulous relatives could contest the legality of the Will made by a very old person on the basis that the person was not of sound mind when the Will was made.

* A Will must always be dated. If more than one will is made then the one having the latest date will nullify all other wills.

* A Will should be Simple, Precise and Clear: Otherwise there may be problems for the legal heirs. Sometimes relatives and others may try to distort the interpretation of the Will for their own benefit.

* A Will can be hand-written or typed out. No stamp paper is necessary.

* There should be an "Executor of the Will" who would be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the assets are distributed according to the provisions of the Will. The Testator (person making the Will) should take prior consent of the person whom he or she wishes to name as the Executor

 * A Will should be signed by the Testator in the presence of at least two witnesses who have to attest the same. The full names and addresses of the witnesses should be clearly indicated in the Will. It would be better if one of the witnesses is a medical practitionel; but this is not essential. The practitioner should certify that the Testator is of sound mind (especially if the Testator is of an advanced age) and he or she should also note his or her registration number and degree (educational qualification).

A witness should not be a beneficiary of the Will. A witness should also not be an Executor of the Will.

* Each page of the Will should be serially numbered and signed by the Testator and the; Witnesses. This is to prevent substitution, replacement or insertion of page by persons with fraudulent intentions. At the end of the Will the Testator can indicate the total number of pages in the Will. Corrections if any should be countersigned

The Will may be kept in a safe place like a bank vault. The Executor and the and the beneficiaries should be informed where the Willis kept. It is advisable to keep a signed copy of the Will with a trusted advocate.

Sometimes the value of certain items of the assets (example: value of share certificates) may fluctuate. In such situation, it is better to mention percentage of such item/s which should go to each beneficiary.

Whenever changes in the family circumstances or other reasons necessitate any changes in the Will in the intervening period (from the time of making the Will to the time of demise of the testator), the structure of the will can be amended. Even if there are changes in the nature of the property or assets, an Amendment may be needed.

For making changes only in certain clauses of the Will, a Codicil (supplement) is to be prepared which should be read in conjunction with the Will and which has the power to make appropriate changes in the relevant clauses of the Will.

If there are too many changes in the Will, It is better to prepare an entirely new Will. It is not compulsory for one to register a Will with the registering authority, but in case any property or asset is given to any charitable organisation, then registration should be done. A person's WtLl becomes operative only after his or her demise. There is no restriction in the way a person can deal with his or her property even after writing a Will